KFC: drama, illegal cock fighting rings and an identity crisis!

So, as promised, I thought I would offer you the next instalment of the life and times of Kamwenge’s Fascinating Chickens (KFC). All things considered, their life seems to hold much more drama, intrigue and excitement than mine – in the past few months there has been bullying and intimidation, all out blood and guts cock fighting, an identity crisis and even a baby in the mix. The drama continues….

Life was going on well in this quiet backwater in rural Africa. I was continuing my study of the ways of this world through my chickens. But then, something changed…

Me, happily boiling our chickens' eggs...

Someone gave us a gift of a rooster (Davis’s family actually, see my blog here) as a gift. Now, ordinarily one would love the gift of a rooster. This is a photo of us receiving our rooster. Let’s call him Stud (oh, the irony).

Stud, me and Michael's body 🙂

Me taking Stud to the car. He pooed all over my foot just after this photo was taken. Gross.

So, Stud arrived home and joined the chooks and the other rooster owned by our neighbour. From the beginning, we were very nervous about this combination, as the other rooster (lets call him Terminator) seemed to be incredibly territorial and had intimidated the last 3 roosters that had come into the backyard until they were killed in an attempt to save them from a torturous painful death. We were obviously concerned that Stud, our new prized possession would meet the same fate.

Our suspicions were quickly confirmed. Terminator did not take long to seize up our rooster and pronounce him a threat.

Everyday the bulling grew worse, until one day Terminator and Stud began fighting on our front Verandah. Now, I know in other countries cock fighting is some sick form of entertainment. But this is Uganda, and I was both shocked and appalled by this archaic display of testosterone (I’m not sure if chickens have testosterone, but you get the picture) and was not happy to have an illegal cock fighting ring in our backyard. In a flurry of wings and combs and tails and growling-type noises I never knew cocks could make, the cocks began to fight it out to the death. I watched, shrieking, as Stud was brutally beaten. Several times, in an act of desperation he threw himself up against the glass door head first, desperate to be inside in the safe haven of our loungeroom. Blood splattered on the glass. (I would have posted a photo of the splattered blood but wanted this blog to remain G-rated.) Eventually, Michael and I did the very brave thing and called the neighbour’s boy to break up the fight. He separated them and tied up the mean one. A few days later, Terminator was given away.

My Stud was a wimp…

But I shouldn’t judge. Perhaps something tragic and horrible happened to Stud for him to be like he is.

Our stud - with his damaged 'comb' after the fight. Who knew life could be so tough for a rooster?

But whatever the case, Stud has some serious issues. My husband’s professional doctor diagnosis was that Stud may actually be a hen, trapped in a rooster’s body. Other options are that he may be going through a simple identify crisis. This diagnosis is suspected for several reasons:

a) Stud’s attempt to fight the other cock back was hopeless. It was painfully pathetic to watch. Basically, he just crawled up into the foetal position (as much as is possible for a chicken) and wimpered. I don’t normally condone violence, but in this situation it was necessary for self defence; clearly Stud felt differently.

b) Stud cannot ‘crow’ like an ordinary rooster. Seriously. He gives this half-baked, much lower pitch ‘cock a doooooo’. That’s about all he can muster. Lately instead, we find him clucking like a hen.

c) Stud may have confusion about his species. His desperation to constantly be inside our house (following in the tradition of our other chickens) and his desperation to be around humans is concerning. Speaking with our neighbour the other day, she enquired ‘have I noticed how the rooster (Stud) always comes over to be with people when there is a conversation going on?’ She shares my theory, and we had a laugh…

But in case anyone is doubting his manhood – Stud has fathered a chick! It seems that not only are the local chickens much better at the business of survival, but also at preserving their species. They love to have baby chickens. This is a striking parallel to the fertility rate in Kamwenge – the average woman bares 7 children in her lifetime! (The Mzungu breed of chicken, on the other hand, refuses to sit on its eggs and rarely produce chicks.) Our baby chicken is SOOO cute and I spend long amounts of time gazing at it or taking unnecessary amounts of photos.

So here are some pictures of my new baby chicken:

Note: Regarding the house thing, Stud and I have come to an agreement. At the end of each day, he is too lazy to walk around the house to the backyard. When it starts to get dark he wants to enter the house. Why? To get to the other side! (haha) So now, if he doesn’t bother us the rest of the day, the deal is he can toddle through the house in the evening just on his way to his little home.

Quick update before publishing blog: My rooster, on its journey to the back yard, just POOPED sloppy diarrheoa poo all over my floor!! I think that terminates the agreement!!

6 responses to “KFC: drama, illegal cock fighting rings and an identity crisis!

  1. Betty Windmill

    Kim, that was SO amusing!! Love your new little chicken -he/she (I’m not up on the gender etc of birds and animals – something missing in my education!!!!!) is gorgeous.
    Glad I didn’t witness the rooster fight!!! Don’t like brutality, blood and guts!! It sounds as though life doesn’t lack excitement for you both. I had a real giggle over Michael’s assessment of the gender of your Stud! Keep the newsy letters coming.
    Love, NanaBet. XX

  2. Once again – brilliant writing and so funny. I can just picture it all happening. You give us all a wonderful picture of life in your part of the world.

    • Thanks for the encouragement Uncle Trevor, I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. It is fun to share about life here and show people that Africa isn’t as daunting and exotic as others would have you believe! Hope all is well with you and the family.

  3. Thanks for the update of your family in Kamwenge! I agree with Betty and Trevor – life must not be boring! This blog brought a smile to my day! Thanks heaps and hope to chat to you soon. Praying for you guys! xox

  4. oh my goodness i laughed so much i cried. i read mum’s emails about Stud and his chicken, but the full story was awesome! you are one hell of a writer. when you publish your memoirs later in life i’ll be buying a copy for sure!

    • Thanks Liesl! I’m glad you thought it was as funny as I did! i thought you’d be the kinda gal to appreciate a good chicken story. Its pretty easy to write all the time when life is this entertaining 🙂

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